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3D Point Clouds in Blender: Starter Guide


The standard output of 3D scanning software is point clouds. And while Blender can import and display point clouds via the .PLY file format, the standard way of displaying them isn't optimal: they're shown as monochrome vertices, meaning their density can also get really low when trying to view details up close.

In this tutorial Florent Poux shows how to use geometry nodes for giving the points more 'body', and shader nodes for using the color attribute information that's included in .PLY files. This allows you to use the pointclouds in rendering projects too!

Florent also shows his preferred way for setting up the Blender UI for point cloud projects and closes with a small lighting and animation project using a 3D scan.

About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.

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